Rajya Sabha had been repeatedly adjourned on Friday as Congress accused the BJP of “stealing” party lawmakers after five Congress MLAs in Gujarat defected to BJP. Congress also accused BJP-led Centre and State government to pressurise Congress MLAs to quit the Congress and join BJP.
The House was adjourned till 2.30 p.m. – the fourth time in one and a half hours — by Chairman Hamid Ansari amidst pandemonium by Congress MPs. As soon as the House met at 12 p.m. after two adjournments, the Congress members stood up and started shouting slogans. The Chair adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
However, the Congress MPs again resumed sloganeering when the House met. Ansari reiterated that the members should raise the issue with the “designated agency”. As the Congress members did not relent, Ansari then adjourned the House till 2.30 p.m.
Earlier, as soon as the Upper House met for the day, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma raised the issue of the MLAs’ defection and alleged that Congress MLA Poonaji Gavit was “abducted” by the police.
“Many MLAs are being abducted. Constitutional violation is taking place. They are in the habit of stealing MLAs – which they showed in Goa and Manipur. Now they are showing it in Rajya Sabha elections,” Sharma said.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien asked the protesting members as to what he could do in this matter and advised the aggrieved members to raise the issue with the Election Commission.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that Gujarat police officers were promising Congress MLAs tickets for the election. “Will the police officers now decide who the Congress will give tickets to?” Azad said.
Subsequently, the opposition members trooped near the Chair’s podium and started shouting slogans saying “Stop killing Constitution, stop killing democracy”. When Kurien remarked what he could do in the matter, Azad replied: “You can direct the Election Commission to conduct free and fair elections.”